Tag Archives: orlando

Japan will bring bullet train to Florida?

23 Nov

Japan is well-known for it’s excellent public transportation system. Especially in big cities like Tokyo.
Japan’s trains, buses and subways are clean, safe, extremely punctual, convenient and affordable.

Even though the taxis here aren’t really affordable (a taxi ride in Japan is pricey), they’re also clean, safe and convenient.

You may also know that Japan has an excellent 「新幹線」 (“Bullet train” (or “Shinkansen” in Japanese)) system.

"Shinkansen" (Bullet train) passing Mt. Fuji.

Japan’s 「新幹線」 (Bullet train) system is the world’s busiest and fastest bullet-train service.
The speed record was set a few years ago when the 「新幹線」 (Bullet train) reached a speed of over 580 km/hr on a test-run. With passengers though, the trains travel up to about 300 km/hr.

When U.S. President Obama announced that America would begin building and using bullet-trains systems in various parts of America with the first one scheduled to connect Tampa, Florida (my hometown) to Orlando and Miami, Florida many bullet-train companies around the world began bidding for the contract to build Florida’s first high-speed train service.

Map of Florida showing the planned bullet-train routes.

Companies in Canada, Germany and France are competing with Japan for the contract.

But it seems that Japan’s JR Tokai company has a good chance of winning the bid.

If Japan wins the bid then Florida will have a 「新幹線」 (Bullet train) system like Japan’s.

 

One of JR Tokai's 「新幹線」 (Bullet train) trains.

I wonder if America will be able to maintain the punctuality, safety and convenience of Japan’s train systems.

Have you ever ridden a 「新幹線」 (Bullet train) in Japan? Or any of Japan’s trains or subways?
Have you taken public transportation in other countries?
What are your impressions?

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By the way, today is a national holiday in Japan…「勤労感謝の日」 (“Labor Day”). (Click here to read my short “F.A.Q.” about it.)

新幹線 in Florida?

29 Apr

I grew up in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. I left there two decades ago…but it’s still where I grew up.

So I was interested when I heard a story on the TV news recently that involved both Tampa, Florida and Japan.

The news said that Florida plans to build a 新幹線 (bullet train) line from Tampa to Orlando and continue on to Miami.

When I lived in Florida, there was no public transportation system to speak of…and definitely no train—especially a bullet train!

Many countries, including Japan, are putting bids in to build this new train line for Florida.

The trains in Japan are spotless, safe, and extremely punctual. But I wonder if it’ll be the same situation in America, even if Japan builds the bullet train system for them…because a big factor in Japan’s excellent public transportation system is not only the technology but also Japan’s culture itself.

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Until yesterday, Japan had a fifteen year 時効 (Statute of Limitations) for murder.
That meant that if someone killed another person in Japan and the police couldn’t catch them with that time limit they would be free of any chance of prosecution for that crime from then on.

But a new law was passed yesterday that completely abolished the Statute of Limitations for murder…and it’s retroactive. So there is now no Statute of Limitations for any murder committed on 1995 April 28 or later.

Actually, this bill was rushed through the Japanese Senate in order to be passed yesterday because there is an unsolved murder case that occurred on that exact date of 1995 April 28…so if this bill wasn’t passed into law yesterday, whoever it was that stabbed an elderly couple to death in their home and then burned their house down (apparently in an effort to cover their crime) would be free from any possibility of being punished for that heinous crime.
But now there is no longer a time limit for the police to catch murderers in Japan.

(Thankfully though, the violent crime rate in Japan is extremely low.)

Mickey is 80

21 Nov

It’s probably safe to say that nearly everyone knows who Mickey Mouse® is.
The world-famous American cartoon character was created by Walt Disney and made his movie debut in the cartoon titled “Steamboat Willie” on November 18, 1928. Eighty years ago last Tuesday.

Have you ever been to any of the Disneyland® amusement parks?

I believe there are Disney parks in five cities.
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California USA.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida USA.
Tokyo Disney Resort (includes Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea) in Maihama, Chiba Japan (near Tokyo).
Disneyland Resort Paris in Paris, France.
and
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong, China.

I have been to Disney World® in Orlando, Florida and, of course, 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) and 東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea)® in Japan…but none of the others.

My kids love ディズニーランド (Disneyland)…so we’ve been to 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) a number of times.

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Speaking of 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland), not only is this year Mickey Mouse’s 80th birthday…but it’s also the 25th anniversary of 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland). The park opened in 1983.
(東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea) opened in 2001).
When I came to Japan, 東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland) was only seven years old…now 東京ディズニーシー (Tokyo DisneySea) is that old!

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